While cleansing has become more popular in recent years, there is still a lot of questions surrounding the best way to do one, and how to eat while one.
To eat or not to eat?
Detoxification diets are preferable to fasts because they don’t overload the system. Eliminating too many toxins too quickly can overburden the system. A good detox diet will provide nourishment for the whole body to function well and also provide the key nutrients to bind toxins, and the bulk fiber that will help move them through the system.
Each day we are exposed to a number of different chemicals through the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the products that we apply to our skin. We pick up parasites from our environment and we store heavy metals like mercury and lead. These toxins affect many areas of our bodies, including our gut, liver, kidneys, and colon.
The gut is where the majority of the nutrients we need are absorbed. Minerals, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are digested in our stomach and then absorbed as they pass through our intestinal system. That is why it is important when cleansing to eat foods that are high in nutrients and that are easy for the gut to process.
In order to operate properly, our gut must first be cleaned of any material that may hinder proper nutrient absorption. Using a fasting approach rather than a cleansing approach can cause problems because the body does not have the nutrients it needs to properly remove the chemicals and heal itself. Eating a diet rich in nutrient dense foods that are easy to digest is an excellent way to support the body during a cleanse.
Along with the gut our bodies detox system contains the liver, the colon and the kidneys. The liver acts as a filter for all toxins enters our bloodstream. It filters out the unwanted content and prepares it to be excreted. The colon uses bacteria to flush out chemicals, and the kidneys filter our blood and then release the toxins in urine. Many toxins are stored in fat. During cleansing, these toxins are released into the bloodstream. In order to help the liver, kidneys and colon excrete the toxins it is important to drink plenty of water. Adding fresh lemon juice, cranberry juice or cayenne to the water will enhance the organs’ ability to dispose of the chemicals.
When should we detox?
Detoxification programs can be done 2 to 4 times per year by almost anyone. They are most successful at the start of the new health program, in changing seasons of spring and fall. If you have a health condition it is best to talk to a health professional prior to starting a cleanse.
What to eat during a cleanse?
All foods can be classified as acid forming, neutral or alkaline-forming. Since many health problems occure when our bodies are overly acidic, a good detoxification program focuses on the acid-alkaline balance of the blood. When cleansing, try to incorporate as many alkaline whole foods as possible, limit processed foods, sugar, and alcohol. Including fermented foods are a geat way to support the healthy gut bacteria, and whole grains contain fibers to help with waste and toxin removal.
How to choose a cleanse?
There are many herbal cleanse kits available, selecting one comes down to your comfort level, and the time you are wanting to commit.
If you are a first time cleanser, we recommend starting with one of the following:
- Flora Flor-Essence – A traditional herbal formula that gently cleanses the whole body at the cellular level. By supporting your body’s detoxification organs in removing these toxins and provides antioxidants that protect against the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
- Renew Life First Cleanse – is an easy-to-use 15 day program formulated for a first time user and designed for overall health in addition to promoting regular digestion.
- Prairie Naturals Re-Cleanse – is a safe, effective 7-Day whole body detoxification kit supported by clinical use. It is formulated to gently and effectively support your body’s natural detoxifying and elimination process.
If you are an experience cleanser, there are a few of our favourites:
- Wile Rose Herbal Detox – is a complete multi-system detoxification of the colon and kidneys; acts on the urinary tract and the gastro-intestinal system; and has an effect on the liver.
- Renew Life CleanseSMART – is a two-part, 30-day herbal cleansing program specifically formulated to cleanse and detoxify the entire body, with added focus on the body’s two main detoxification pathways, the liver and the colon.
Supplements to help nourish and support the body both during and after the cleanse are important to help the detox be as effective as possible. We do suggest that you take supplements or medication at least 30 minutes away form the cleansing capsules.
- Probiotics – beneficial bacteria to help support a health gut microbiome and fight off harmful bacteria.
- Fiber – including a source of fiber helps with the absorption an removal of the toxins that are leaving the system and promote regularity.
- Greens food powders – they are a a great way to help the body stay alkaline and prove a dense source of nutrition in an easy to consume form.